Gotham Knights has become yet another victim of launch delays. As the gaming industry continues to feel the effects of the ongoing pandemic, Warner Bros. has pushed the action RPG’s release date from 2021 to an unknown date in 2022.
With this, and the unavoidable possibility that Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League (also currently scheduled for 2022), there will be no new Batman game for four years. It was a dark day for Gotham.
Fortunately, the Dark Knight already has a plethora of excellent outings available on most major consoles and PC to keep players busy for the foreseeable future. So, suit up, get the Batmobile ready, and grab the nearest can of shark repellent spray you can find as we dive into the best Batman games to play while we wait for Gotham Knights.
Batman: Return to Arkham
Platforms: PS4 and Xbox One
The Caped Crusader has appeared in a variety of games since 1986, but it wasn’t until Arkham Asylum in 2009 that players got a true sense of what it was like to be the Bat. Developers Rocksteady built on their success with the sequel, Arkham City, making not only the best Batman games on this list, but also arguably two of the best video games ever made.
Kevin Conroy’s return as Batman and Mark Hamill’s return as The Joker was a brilliant choice, providing fans of the animated series and others with unforgettable performances that would be remembered for years to come. This remaster collects all engrossing adventures, as well as all previously published downloadable content, into one package. It’s excellent.
Lego DC Super-Villains
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC
Though not exclusively a Batman game, the character is prominently featured in this “bricktastic” action-adventure. Anyone who has ever played a Lego game knows how much love and charm Traveller’s Tales has poured into it. Lego DC Super-Villains, on the other hand, lives up to the studio’s high expectations, boasting an even more impressive cast.
Getting to play as anyone from The Joker and Lex Luthor to Polka Dot Man and the Condiment King is just the kind of crazy setup that makes this franchise so much fun. It’s also difficult to overlook the excellent two-player co-op, which allows both casual and hardcore players to explore together without being irritated by one holding the other back.
Batman: The Telltale Series 1/2
Platforms: PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android, and PC
Want to cut through the endless gameplay to get to the heart of the story? Well, Batman: The Telltale Series could be just the ticket. This five-episode (per season) point-and-click adventure places you in the shoes of Bruce Wayne, allowing you to make choices that will have an effect on the overall story arc, for better or worse.
If you go into this adaptation with an open mind, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the dark tone and surprising amount of detective work that pushes the “world’s greatest” to prove he really is. Not to mention, the episodic nature of the show makes for perfect evening entertainment, as each two-hour episode is broken up into bits that you can watch at your leisure… Alternatively, you can binge-watch (play?) the entire thing, as we did with no regrets.
Batman: Arkham Origins
Platforms: PS3, Xbox One (backward compatible), Wii U, and PC
Arkham Origins sees WB Games Montréal behind the (Bat) wheel, drawing influence from Batman: Year One and Legends of the Dark Knight. After a mafia boss places a bounty on his head, a young Batman goes up against Black Mask and eight other assassins (enter the rogue’s gallery) on Christmas Eve.
The snow-covered Gotham is a delight to explore, and the fighting is satisfying without deviating too far from the near-perfect structure developed in Asylum and City. Surprisingly, this 2013 prequel was WB Games Montréal’s last game before the yet-to-be-released Gotham Knights, a nine-year gap. We can only hope that history does not repeat itself.
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, iOS, Android, and PC
Since Batman v Superman didn’t quite hit the mark with the general public, NetherRealm Studios decided to offer fans just what they wanted: action, spectacle, and a remarkably coherent plot.
The Chicago-based developer, better known as the makers of Mortal Kombat, went all out for Injustice 2, with its deep battle system, stunning graphics, and a plethora of customization options. Seriously, the amount of information available here is astounding.
The story provides the shock factor, as previously mentioned. There will be no hastily thrown-together plot to pit our superheroes against one another.
It’s actually a complex storyline based on comic books, with Batman leading a group of reformed heroes against the Society, a group of villains led by Gorilla Grodd. All of this takes place when a tyrannical Superman and an invading Brainiac fight for control of the world. Chaos reigns supreme. Beautiful disarray.
Batman: Arkham Knight
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, and PC
Batman: Arkham Knight is still one of the best-looking games of the last decade, nearly six years later. In the final installment of the Arkham series, Bruce battles Scarecrow in an open-world Gotham that drives the billionaire philanthropist insane.
The Batmobile, most notably, makes its debut, entirely playable to navigate the streets, send the Dark Knight into the sky, and (gently) concuss thugs from any wrongdoings. Keep in mind Batman is not a murderer (wink, wink). This series’ blockbuster conclusion is packed with unforgettable scenes, suspense, emotional resonance, and enough Riddler awards to make the Joker nuts.